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George Zimmerman: Why did he abandon a 'stand your ground' hearing? (+video)

George Zimmerman, the defendant in the Trayvon Martin murder case, was widely expected to claim immunity under Florida's 'stand your ground' law. The defense's calculations have changed.

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The Trayvon Martin case may have brought renewed focus on new "stand your ground" self-defense laws around the country, but the defendant in the case, George Zimmerman, said Tuesday he may not use the law in his own defense after all.

In a move that bewildered prosecutors, defense attorney Mark O'Mara cancelled an April 20 "stand your ground hearing," claiming a time crunch in preparing for a June 10 jury trial in the second-degree murder case. If able to provide clear and convincing evidence of legally standing one's ground against an attack, a defendant in Florida walks free and is granted immunity from civil liabilities.

Police released Mr. Zimmerman without charges after the volunteer neighborhood watchman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just over a year ago. Sanford, Fla., police cited Florida's landmark 2005 “stand your ground law,” which nullifies any imperative for a potential crime victim to try to escape or retreat before using deadly force against an attacker.

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Zimmerman says he thought Trayvon looked suspicious, and that the two fought after he approached the boy. Zimmerman says he didn't know Trayvon was a child.

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